Fiction newsletter for December

Welcome to the December Fiction newsletter with another selection of the best new fiction received this month. We are featuring historical fiction in our ‘Other Genre’ category. We hope you will discover some fabulous new writers, or new work from old favourites.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

This month’s best contemporary novels, from our monthly selection includes the highly recommended Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark.

Syndetics book cover Sweetness #9 : a novel / Stephan Eirik Clark.
“It’s 1973, and David Leveraux is a young and ambitious flavour chemist working at a world-renowned flavour-production house. While testing a new artificial sweetener, Sweetness #9, he notices some unsettling side effects in the laboratory rats and monkeys: anxiety, obesity, mutism, and a general dissatisfaction with life. Years later, Sweetness #9 is America’s most popular sweetener and David’s family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his son has stopped using verbs, and his daughter is generally dissatisfied with her life. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David’s failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the human condition?” (Adapted from Book cover)
Syndetics book cover Us / David Nicholls.
“Douglas Petersen is a biochemist. His wife, Connie, an artist and arts administrator, in bed at 4 a.m., tells him that after 24 years of marriage she is thinking of leaving him. The often maddeningly practical, reliable, and methodical Douglas is, understandably, shaken, as his devotion to Connie is beyond question. The family was to embark on a Grand Tour of Europe this summer; their 17-year-old son, Albie, is starting college in the fall. Connie feels they should all go anyway. Douglas, ever the scientist, hopes that through careful preparation (and lots of Wikipedia) the trip will bring structure to his son and help remind his wife of the wonderful life they share. Yet an altercation with a guest in their Amsterdam hotel sends Albie off on his own, with Douglas in hot pursuit.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Leaving time : a novel / Jodi Picoult.
“On the night one of the caretakers at a New Hampshire elephant sanctuary was killed, Jenna’s mother, Alice, was found unconscious nearby. Hours later, Alice checked herself out of the hospital and disappeared, leaving her 3-year-old daughter behind. Now, 10 years later, the precocious 13-year-old wants answers to the mysteries of her mother’s whereabouts. Is she dead? Was she also the victim of an unknown assailant? Or was she an abused wife and heartless mother who did not care about her child’s welfare? Aided only by Virgil, the disgraced detective who bungled the initial investigation, and Serenity, a once-famous but now infamous TV psychic, Jenna seeks answers to the questions that have always plagued her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

Our graphic novel selection for this newsletter includes some darker, dystopian stories for your reading enjoyment.

Syndetics book cover Retroworld / Patrick Galliano, writer ; Cedric Peyravernay, Bazal, artists ; adapted from the work of Julia Verlanger.
“Humans have scattered and occupied the known universe for so long that many worlds have forgotten their true, Earthly origins. The planets which retain the memory of the ‘Formers’ have allied together, creating a Galactic Federation, whereas the ‘Retros’ are worlds that have returned to a more archaic, primitive and isolationist way of life. The Federation entrusts its best agent, Marce, with a delicate, yet vital, mission to help a retroworld called Almagiel evolve. But political machinations, brutal living conditions and deadly creatures may prove to be the agent’s undoing.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Snowpiercer. Volume 1, The escape / written by Jacques Lob ; art by Jean-Marc Rochette ; translated by Virginie Selavy ; lettering by Gabriela Houston.
“In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice. The surviving community is not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Bojeffries saga / words by Alan Moore ; pictures by Steve Parkhouse.
“Jobremus Bojeffries is like any other father, trying to keep the peace in a house stuffed with two kids (Ginda and Reth), uncles Raoul and Festus, a baby, and old Grandpa Podlasp. Never mind that one’s a werewolf, one’s a vampire, Grandpa is in the last stages of organic matter, and the baby puts off enough thermonuclear energy to power England and Wales, they’re no ordinary family. With stories spanning decades, Alan Moore shows an affectionate and penetrating grasp of human nature.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

The best mysteries from our monthly selection are highlighted in this newsletter. Highly recommended is The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier for nail biting, edge of seat reading.

Syndetics book cover The burning room : a novel / Michael Connelly.
“In the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet ten years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other clues are virtually nonexistent. Even a veteran cop would find this one tough going, but Bosch’s new partner, Detective Lucia Soto, has no homicide experience. A young star in the department, Soto has been assigned to Bosch so that he can pass on to her his hard-won expertise. Bosch and Soto are tasked with solving a murder that turns out to be highly charged and politically sensitive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The butcher / Jennifer Hillier.
“A rash of grisly serial murders plagued Seattle until the infamous “Beacon Hill Butcher” was finally hunted down and killed by police chief Edward Shank in 1985. Now, some thirty years later, Shank, retired and widowed, is giving up his large rambling Victorian house to his grandson Matt, whom he helped raise. Settling back into his childhood home, Matt, a young up-and-coming chef and restaurateur, stumbles upon a locked crate he’s never seen before. Curious, he picks the padlock and makes a discovery so gruesome it will forever haunt him. Faced with this deep dark family secret, Matt must decide whether to keep what he knows buried in the past, go to the police, or take matters into his own hands.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Last kiss / Louise Phillips.
“A dark tale of deception and desire. In a quiet suburb, a woman desperately clings to her sanity as a shadowy presence moves objects around her home. In a hotel room across the city, an art dealer with a dubious sexual past is found butchered, his body arranged to mimic the Hangman card from the Tarot deck. But what connects them? When criminal psychologist Dr. Kate Pearson is brought in to help investigate the murder, she finds herself plunged into a web of sexual power and evil which spreads from Dublin to Paris, and then to Rome.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

The best new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels from our monthly selection are presented here to tempt readers of this very popular genre.

Syndetics book cover Resistance / Samit Basu.
“The sequel to the novel Turbulence. In 2020, eleven years after the passengers of flight BA142 from London to Delhi developed extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires, the world is overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, others for evil, and some just want to pulverize iconic monuments and star in their own reality show. But now, from New York to Tokyo, someone is hunting down supers, killing heroes and villains both, and it’s up to the Unit to stop them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The abyss beyond dreams : Chronicle of the fallers / Peter F. Hamilton.
“The first book in the two book series titled, The Chronicle of the Fallers. When images of a lost civilization are ‘dreamed’ by a self-proclaimed prophet of the age, Nigel Sheldon, inventor of wormhole technology and creator of the Commonwealth society, is asked to investigate. Especially as the dreams seem to be coming from the Void, a mysterious area of living space monitored and controlled because of its hugely destructive capabilities.” (Adapted from book cover)
Syndetics book cover Bête / Adam Roberts.
“A man is about to kill a cow. He discusses life and death and his right to kill with the compliant animal. He begins to suspect he may be about to commit murder, but kills anyway. It began when the animal rights movement injected domestic animals with artificial intelligences in bid to have the status of animals realigned by the international court of human rights. But what is an animal that can talk? Where does its intelligence end at its machine intelligence begin? And where might its soul reside? This is a world where nature can talk back, and can question humans and their beliefs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

Historical Fiction is featured this month in our ‘Other Genre’ category, with novels set in Medieval England to Jamaica in the 70’s, providing new and exciting reading experiences.

Syndetics book cover Winter siege / Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman.
“1141. A mercenary watches from the icy reeds as a little girl with red hair is attacked by his own men. He is powerless to stop them. But a strange twist of fate brings them together again. Sheltering in a church, he finds the girl freezing cold, close to death, clutching a sliver of parchment and now he is certain of what he must do. He will bring her back to life. He will train her to fight and he will protect her from the man who calls himself a monk, who lost a piece of parchment he will do anything to get back.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover A brief history of seven killings / Marlon James.
“On 3 December 1976, just weeks before the general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house with machine guns blazing. Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert, but the next day he left the country, and didn’t return for two years. Not a lot was recorded about the fate of the seven gunmen, but much has been said, only to sink into rumour and misinformation. Inspired by this near-mythic event, this novel takes the form of an imagined oral biography, told by ghosts, witnesses, killers, members of parliament, drug dealers, conmen, beauty queens, FBI and CIA agents, reporters, journalists, and even Keith Richards’ drug dealer.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Syndetics book cover The sacred river : a novel / Wendy Wallace.
“A young Victorian woman who is ailing, a proper but worried mother, and a spinster aunt sent to chaperone all leave London in 1882 aboard the Star of the East, in the hopes that the dry Egyptian air will help 23-year-old Harriet survive her worsening asthma. Harriet has spent her youth as an invalid, her only joy the study of Egyptian hieroglyphics, and, she is determined to see Egypt before she dies. Her mother prefers to stay in the comfort and safety of London but is desperate to keep Harriet alive. Her worries are compounded when the ship turns up a figure from her past, a man who threatens to expose long-buried secrets and bends his malevolent attention toward Harriet.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Fiction newsletter for May

Welcome to the Fiction Newsletter for May. We have selected the best and the most highly recommend fiction from the new additions to our collection rev to our received this month. In our ‘Other Genre’ category we feature New Zealand writers. This month there are many first novels from some exciting talented new authors. We hope you will enjoy many hours of pleasurable reading.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

So many great new novels in this month’s selection of new Contemporary Fiction, that deciding on just three to tempt was difficult. But Jo Nesbo fans will be pleased to see his new novel, titled, The son has been included.

Syndetics book coverEvery day is for the thief : fiction / Teju Cole with photos by the author.
“Set in contemporary Lagos, Nigeria, the novel follows a nameless narrator’s visit to his homeland after a lengthy stay in the United States. Estranged from his mother and unemotional about his father’s death, the protagonist seeks his humanity and redemption in art. Lagos, the home of numerous Internet scams and frequent power cuts-possesses a violence that both disgusts his protagonist and fascinates him. The narrator details a Nigeria that is violent and corrupt, but also multi-cultural and alive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe truth about the Harry Quebert affair / Joël Dicker ; translated from the French by Sam Taylor.
“Marcus Goldman, a successful young novelist, visits Somerset to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of the country’s most respected writers, and to find a cure for his writer’s block as his publisher’s deadline looms. But Marcus’s plans are violently upended when Harry is suddenly and sensationally implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe son / Jo Nesbø ; translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund.
“As a teenager, Sonny Lofthus learns of his father’s death, the circumstances of which disgrace his family and catapult Sonny into despair. To cope with his loss, Sonny seeks escape through heroin and at age 18 admits to crimes he did not commit. As payment for his confession, corrupt Oslo prison staff, lawyers, and a priest supply Sonny with a steady stream of heroin. Then, 12 years later, the same faction threatens to cut off Sonny’s heroin supply unless he confesses to a murder. At the same time, a fellow inmate provides Sonny with new information about his father’s death. Sonny breaks out of prison to make the people responsible pay for their treachery. While Oslo police search for Sonny, he untangles a web of corruption throughout the city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

Very casual, the title of the first collection of work by Canadian Michael DeForge, is highly recommended and is included as one of the best Graphic Novels from this month’s selection of new material.

Syndetics book coverGod hates astronauts. Volume 1, The head that wouldn’t die! / written and illustrated by Ryan Browne.
“Conceived during a 24-hour comic creating exercise before evolving into a Webcomic, which then spurred a successful Kickstarter campaign to produce a hardcover collection, this comic has now been repackaged with many bonuses. The heroic team-known as The Power Persons Five-is hired by NASA for a mission, but often are anything but heroic as they confront all manner of strange enemies, from voodoo space bears to decapitated ghost cow heads.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVery casual / Michael DeForge.
“Prolific young Canadian-born avant-garde artist DeForge has become one of his generation’s most admired cartoonists, and this is his first sizable collection. Most of the work here has appeared in a barrage of mini-comics, small-press publications and Web comics. Many of DeForge’s comics center on body horror: in “Sweet Tat,” a popular band is made up of ugly lumps of flesh who infect their fans with a terrible disease, and some of the wordless comics deal with bodies that morph in more or less disturbing ways.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHip hop family tree [1] : 1970s-1981 / Ed Piskor.
“Originating as a webcomic serialized at Boing Boing, this oversize volume is an epic, exhaustive chronicle of the most culturally impactful popular music movement of the past four decades. With its roots embedded in the streets of 1970s New York City, hip-hop and rap slowly germinated as a DIY urban party phenomenon, weaving a powerful funky spell among the Big Apple’s people of color. Local deejays and rappers were catapulted into the scene’s spotlight overnight, and the battles for performance supremacy honed the skills of the form’s progenitors at parties and clubs, which soon led the sounds they created to be recorded and distributed on bootleg vinyl. As the movement grew, so too did its visibility, and the rest is international pop-culture history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

The new mysteries for May include fiction from many popular authors, including Donna Leon and John Lescroart

Syndetics book coverThe keeper : a novel / by John Lescroart.
“In the latest Dismas Hardy legal thriller, a missing-persons case gets very complicated, very fast. Hal Chase is a guard at the San Francisco County Jail; one night, while he’s out at the airport picking up a relative, his wife, Katie, disappears from their home. Hal is soon picked up by police as the prime suspect. Because Katie was a client of Hardy’s marriage-counselor wife, Hal wants Dismas to take his case. Hardy asks his old pal, former homicide cop Abe Glitsky, to pitch in with the investigative legwork. Glitsky soon uncovers some serious holes in Hal Chase’s story his alibi, for instance, is very shaky and when Katie’s body is found, and her husband is arrested for the murder, Dismas wonders if he could possibly be defending a guilty man, while Glitsky wonders if he’ll come out of this case alive. Lescroart has occupied a chair at the head table of the legal-thriller society for quite awhile, and this smartly plotted, sharply written novel will do nothing to dislodge him from that lofty perch.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWolf / by Mo Hayder.
“In Hayder’s best Jack Caffery thriller yet, a worn-out Jack is feeling all the years he has put into police service and his never-ending quest to find out what happened to his long-lost brother. The novel opens with a young girl finding a stray dog with a ripped note tucked into its collar that states, “Help us.” A vagrant known as the Walking Man witnesses this and promises the young girl that he will help the dog. Never one to give out information willingly, the Walking Man surprisingly contacts Jack-offering up a trade: find out who needs help and, in return, the Walking Man will give Jack some closure about his brother. This deal with the devil sets off a home invasion novel unlike no other. The Anchor-Ferrers, a wealthy family with secrets and issues of their own, are being held hostage in their estate. Will Jack find them in time? And why was this family chosen in the first place? VERDICT Dark and twisty, this gripping crime novel by an Edgar Award winner is an outstanding read, whether Jack is a new character to the reader or an old friend.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBy its cover / Donna Leon.“Donna Leon’s critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti series has attracted readers the world over with the beauty of its setting, the humanity of its characters, and its fearlessness in exploring politics, morality, and contemporary Italian culture. In the pages of Leon’s novels, the beloved conversations of the Brunetti family have drawn on topics of art and literature, but books are at the heart of this novel in a way they never have been before. One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem—the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist. As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian, who had spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent, or guilty.” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)

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Science fiction/fantasy

The highly recommended, Descent by Ken MacLeod is included in the best of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy selection.

Syndetics book coverThe long tomorrow / Leigh Brackett. “One of the original novels of post-nuclear holocaust America, published in 1955, The Long Tomorrow is considered by many to be one of the finest science fiction novels ever written on the subject. Len and Esau are young cousins living decades after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization as we know. The rulers of the post-war community have forbidden the existence of large towns and consider technology evil. ** However Len and Esau long for more than their simple agrarian existence. Rumors of mythical Bartorstown, perhaps the last city in existence, encourage the boys to embark on a journey of discovery and adventure that will call into question not only firmly held beliefs, but the boys’ own personal convictions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe chemickal marriage / G.W. Dahlquist. “The follow up to The Glass Book of Dream Eaters and The Dark Volume. Miss Temple, young, wealthy and far away from home, never wanted to be a heroine. Yet her fiancé is dead (admittedly, by her own hand), her companions slain and her nemesis, the terrifyingly wicked Contessa Lacquer-Sforza, escaped. It falls on her tiny shoulders to destroy a deadly cabal whose alchemy threatens to enslave the world. Miss Temple plots her revenge. But Dr Svenson and Cardinal Chang are alive, barely, their bodies corrupted by the poisonous blue glass. Wounded and outnumbered, Miss Temple, Dr Svenson and Cardinal Chang pursue their enemies through city slums and glittering palaces as they fight to prevent the cabal’s crushing dominion and unholy marriage between man and machine.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverDescent / Ken MacLeod.
“How far would you go for the truth? Ball lightning, weather balloons, secret military aircraft, Ryan knows all the justifications for UFO sightings. But when something falls out of the sky on the hills near his small Scottish town, he finds his cynicism can’t identify or explain the phenomenon. And in a future where nothing is a secret, where everything is recorded on CCTV or reported online, why can he find no evidence of the UFO, nor anything to shed light on what occurred? Is it the political revolutionaries, is it the government or is it aliens themselves who are creating the cover-up? Or does the very idea of a cover-up hide the biggest secret of all?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

An amazing selection of New Zealand fiction features in this month’s ‘Other Genre’ category that includes some great new talented writers.

Syndetics book coverGlacier murder : a Philippa Barnes mystery / Trish McCormack.
“Glacier guide sleuth Philippa Barnes investigates a murder in New Zealand’s Westland National Park. What do you do when you need to escape from your life? Vivien Revell didn’t intend to die. She was conflicted and scared but she was also creative and clever. She should have been able to get away but years later Philippa discovers her mangled body in a crevasse on the Franz Josef Glacier. It looks like an accident but Vivien’s friend Julia is convinced she was murdered and persuades Philippa to investigate.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe road from midnight / Wendyl Nissen.
“Magazine editor Jane Lyndhurst has it all: a gorgeous . younger celebrity husband, a glamorous, fulfilling career and a beautiful, healthy daughter. But on the overnight train from Paris to Venice her five-year-old daughter Charlotte goes missing. As her life crumbles about her Jane refuses to leave Venice, clinging to a seemingly irrational belief that her daughter is alive somewhere out there.” (Adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe bright side of my condition / Charlotte Randall.
“Based on the true story of four convicts who spent nearly a decade on the Snares Islands in the early nineteenth century” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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New ‘Other Genre’ fiction for May features New Zealand writers

A wonderful selection of the latest New Zealand Fiction for this month’s ‘Other Genre’ category. From historical to contemporary, suspense to light humour, also short stories, this is a diverse range of themes skilfully written, by some very talented New Zealanders.

Syndetics book coverDrowning city / Ben Atkins.
“In a city of elusive agendas, it’s hard to find the truth. It’s even harder to find what’s right. A bootlegger’s dream is rocked by an attempt to destroy his lucrative business. What begins as a curious evening suddenly snowballs into a night-time odyssey as Fontana searches for answers he never thought he’d have to find. The city is saturated with criminal and political extremism: is there anyone he can trust?” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverLamplighter / Kerry Donovan Brown.
“Old World lamplighters once lit the streets of cities like Constantinople, Alexandria and Rome. In the countryside, in the new colonies, the Lamplighter doesn’t light passages through the dark; he lights perimeters against it, and the wildernesses beyond” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBefore the delusion : secret Vatican files of the Pyramids and Stonehenge / William Gleeson.
“Dr. Liam Kelly PhD, SJ, is a renowned scholar of Biblical history who has spent a lifetime researching pre-Christian documents in the Vatican archives. With his knowledge of a dozen ancient languages, he compiles a dossier of the secrets of the archives and uncovers startling linked secret meaning of the Pyramids and Stonehenge. But he learns the story can never be told, because twisted through the threads of pagan history are other dark secrets the Church does not want to reveal. Dr. Kelly wrestles with his inner demons, torn between loyalty to his Church and the temptation of telling the truth. At risk to his personal safety, he defies Church hierarchy to find a way to reveal the old knowledge of pagan mysteries.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe train to Paris / Sebastian Hampson.
“Lawrence Williams is twenty. A student of art history, he is just awakening to the world. After a disastrous holiday in Spain with his girlfriend, he catches the train back to Paris. But a delay leaves him stranded at the border, and that’s when Elodie Lavelle strolls into the quiet station. Seductive and surprising, this is the beginning of an unforgettable love story.” (adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverWhere the Rēkohu bone sings / Tina Makereti.
“From the Chatham Islands/Rēkohu, to London, from 1835 to the 21st century, this story confronts the complexity of being Moriori, Māori and Pākehā” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTrilemma : a novel / Jennifer Mortimer.
“A whim takes American businesswoman Linnet “Lin” Mere back to the New Zealand of her birth where she plans to connect with relatives she has never met, the family her father abandoned when he left them for Lin’s mother. She also wants to rekindle her relationship with an estranged ex-boyfriend, Ben. Lin finds a rewarding position as the CEO of Hera, a new but ambitious telecommunications company, sparking a ruthless war for corporate dominance for which she is more than prepared. What Lin is unprepared for, and indeed unaware of, is an undeclared enemy willing to use murder to stop her”. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe glove box & other stories / Vivienne Plumb.
“In this collection, Vivienne Plumb is interested in women who are on the road. In the title story, ‘Glove Box’, an otherwise house-bound and straight-laced mother regularly takes off in the family’s old Jag for hours on end. Other characters hitchhike, crisscrossing the Australian continent, accepting lifts in trucks, cars and kombi vans with trees painted on them. They are running away from dysfunctional families; they are seeking adventure or just looking for work. There are women in transit and in transition, stepping out of the traditional role ascribed to them and onto an open road.” (Adapted from syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe koneke / Suzanne Singleton.
“The rural township of Te Kauri is disrupted and its residents unnerved when local pig farmer Joe Priestley and his wife Molly, mysteriously disappear. Police officer Will Grayson leads the investigation in his first important case. Will’s efforts are thwarted by a belligerent superior officer, a freak flood and the antics of a crafty bootlegger. These obstacles only harden Will’s resolve to succeed. As Will gathers evidence surrounding the Priestley’s disappearance, he realizes someone is determined to keep him from the truth.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Ad lib / Thomasin Sleigh.
“The camerawoman zooms in on the photo, the lens of the camera lingering on the image. After a moment, the camerawoman reaches out and touches it and Kyla copies her, tracing the outline of her mother’s face and the straight line of her raised arm. ‘She will be in our thoughts always,’ whispers the camerawoman. When celebrity singer Carmen Crane passes away, her only daughter inherits a reality TV show. As Kyla Crane adjusts to this new scrutiny, strange things start to happen: the house is rearranged overnight, unknown characters appear, the show’s narrative loses its way, and the camera crew begins to echo events. When fragments of her mother’s past surface, Kyla is compelled to scroll through the footage and come to her own conclusions about life in the public eye and her ambiguous inheritance” (Adapted from Syndetics summar)

Cross creek return / Irene Swadling. “ A tragic accident in 1880 on the Rimutaka Incline leaves young traumatized. His premonition of danger before the event is paralleled by events experienced by his grandfather, an emigrant to Nelson in 1842. The growth of the Colony of Nelson and the 77 years of the Rimutaka Incline Railway, with its Fell engines set the background of this novel.” (Adapted from Book cover)